Summer is typically a time where most of your free hours are spent taking part in outdoor activities. Spending time at the beach, golfing, bicycling, or taking a leisurely stroll around the block are all great summer activities. But even the simplest activities can become dangerous if you are not careful. In the summer, it is important to stay hydrated.
Hydration is something that many people overlook because they typically consume enough water through their everyday diet. It is recommended that people take in six to eight servings (one serving is 8 oz.) of water or fluids every day. When the weather is unusually warm or humid, and while exercising, consuming more water may be necessary to account for the added perspiration rate.
What to drink?
Water is your best bet when looking to hydrate. However, any beverage has hydrating properties; some are just better than others. If you’re looking to spice up your water, add a low-calorie sweetener pack or a fresh lemon. Contrary to popular belief, caffeinated beverages like tea, coffee, and soda – when consumed in moderation – do not have a dehydrating effect. Moderation can generally be defined as 200 to 300 mg per day, according to a study published in 2000 by Journal of the American College of Nutrition.
When to drink?
The best way to ensure you avoid dehydration is to consume fluids throughout the day, starting first thing in the morning. If you notice your urine is a darker yellow color or if you are noticeably thirsty, be sure to drink more water. Small sips are preferred because the body absorbs them more easily than big gulps. Not sure how much you need to drink when you’re dehydrated? Check out our handy chart.
According to experts at the Mayo Clinic, you should seek immediate medical care if you have extreme thirst, lack of urination, shriveled skin, or experience dizziness and confusion.
Summer is a great time to enjoy the outdoors. Just remember stay safe out there! Find more health information in our online Health Center.